Friday, May 6, 2016

Sine die for Hawaii Legislature, Ige signs cool schools bill, group pushes expansion of Papahanaumokuakea marine monument, new Maui Metropolitan planning group forms, geothermal bills die, study coming for interisland ferry, abused Kauai monk seal gives birth, $20M for UH to study water quality, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Senate Majority
Hawaii Senate chambers, courtesy Senate Majority
2016 Session: AC For Schools, Help For Housing And Homeless. The House and Senate also killed bills to let psychologists prescribe drugs and fund a new jail on Oahu, but did hand water permits to A&B on Maui. Civil Beat.

The 2016 Hawaii legislative session has ended, and Hawaii lawmakers have passed dozens of bills including those to ban sex trafficking and combat homelessness. Associated Press.

The 2016 Legislature adjourned today but not before participating in a ceremony to enact one of the state’s top priorities this session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers set aside more money to tackle the highest rate of homelessness in the nation — a crisis that has left families with children living on sidewalks alongside the beaches of paradise. The Legislature allocated $12 million in new funding during the session ending Thursday. It will go toward social services and clearing out homeless encampments. Associated Press.

The Department of Education on Thursday issued its first bid request for work to begin installing air conditioning in at least 1,000 public school classrooms — the same day Gov. David Ige signed legislation to fund the $100 million initiative. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige signed into law on Thursday legislation that spends $100 million to fund equipment and installation costs for air conditioning in public schools statewide, as well as heat-abatement and energy-efficiency measures. Civil Beat.

Will a state-owned ferry system prove seaworthy? Transportation officials are expected to find out after lawmakers approved funding a study on establishing a publicly owned fleet similar to Washington State Ferries, the largest ferry system in the United States. Tribune-Herald.

Two Hawaii nonprofits are urging Gov. David Ige to sign a bill that makes it easier for health care providers to distribute medicine that reverses opioid overdoses. Civil Beat.

Local environmentalists, scientists and lawmakers banded together Thursday to announce that the Obama administration has responded to their proposal to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and make it, once again, the largest marine sanctuary in the world. Star-Advertiser.

A group of roughly 20 Native Hawaiians, local fishermen, scientists and conservationists rallied Thursday morning at Kewalo Marine Laboratory, armed with a 43,000-signature petition urging President Barack Obama to expand federal protections around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

A Native Hawaiian proposal that calls for the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is picking up steam and this week a delegation from the Obama Administration is meeting with stakeholders to discuss the possibility. Garden Island.

The University of Hawaii has been awarded a $20 million grant for its clean water research project. The money comes from the National Science Foundation. KITV4.

Hawaii will receive $3 million in new funding from the National Housing Trust Fund to pursue affordable rental housing. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz Takes On D.C., Homelessness And The Donald. The U.S. senator says he wants to help local, state and federal officials boost the housing stock. He also calls Trump “dangerous.” Civil Beat.

Oahu

Engineering experts raise quality concerns over Honolulu’s rail construction. KHON2.

U.S.VETS this fall will take over the city’s efforts to find 100 permanent homes for some of Honolulu’s chronically homeless households through a model known as Housing First. Star-Advertiser.

Virgin America today expands its Hawai‘i service with the launch of daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Honolulu International Airport, with connecting flights from most Virgin America markets. Maui Now.

Hawaii

The Big Island’s fights against rapid ohia death and the spread of invasive albizia trees will get much-needed booster shots of funding in the coming fiscal year. Tribune-Herald.

A bill aimed at giving the state sole regulatory authority over geothermal power plants died in conference committee. Tribune-Herald.

Critics of geothermal development in Puna left a Windward Planning Commission on Thursday a little more hopeful that they can break through a bureaucratic logjam that has held up a study on impacts to Native Hawaiians. Tribune-Herald.

All three legacy bills signed by the late state Sen. Gil Kahele have died at the Legislature. However, efforts to preserve land at Kapua Bay — an issue which was perhaps most near and dear to the Hilo Democrat’s heart — might still move forward. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Airlines on Wednesday requested U.S. Department of Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx to immediately approve its application to provide service between Kona and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The newly formed Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization elected the chairman and vice chairman of its policy board at its first meeting Wednesday. Maui News.

A 300-pound male spinner dolphin beached itself and died on a rocky Kuau shoreline early Wednesday afternoon, officials said. Maui News.

Kauai

Major strides were made in many areas during Hawaii’s 2016 Legislative session, but some Kauai officials are saying they feel slighted by the state. Garden Island.

Low-income families on Kauai who are searching for affordable housing are about to get help from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation. Garden Island.

Ross Kagawa is running for another term in the Kauai County Council because he wants to be sure the less fortunate people of Kauai are represented. Garden Island.

The Hawaiian monk seal that was caught on camera being beaten by a man last week on Kauai gave birth on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.